July 31, 2011

Saints Re-sign WR/KR Roby

The Saints have re-signed wide receiver and kick returner Courtney Roby to a one-year contract.

Roby, an experienced special teamer and returner for the Saints, is apparently the cousin of his primary competition at the kickoff return job: newly-signed RB Darren Sproles.

Roby tweeted Saturday night, "6am flight 2moro back to NOLA...to re-sign with the Black & Gold. Now lets get this ring!! #WhoDat #TwoDat", and then added, "#TrueStory .. D. Sproles & I are family (cousins)..jus a lil added incentive to make us the most dangerous 1-2 return combo in the league..!"

The primary kickoff returner for the Saints the past two and a half seasons, Roby averaged 23.8 yards per return last season, good for 14th in the league for players with at least 30 kick returns.  Roby was 5th in that category in 2009.

In Super Bowl XLIV, Roby showed exactly why he is not only a valuable kick returner but an excellent gunner on punt coverage teams.  Roby was on the spot to stop Colts PR TJ Rushing for no gain on the Saints' first punt.  A few minutes later, Roby was on the spot to down a Thomas Morstead punt at the Colt 4 yard line.

Roby was knocked out of the Saints-Rams game last season and hospitalized with a concussion.  Two months earlier, Roby had knocked out and hospitalized a sideline official during punt coverage.

Roby won the September 2010 NFC Special Teams Player of the Month award for his excellent punt return coverage, including a key fumble recovery on a muffed return in San Francisco.

In an effort to improve safety, the NFL changed kickoffs rules for the 2011 season, moving the spot of the kickoff up five yards.  Kick return numbers are expected to drop this year, reducing the importance of the role.

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